Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor.9 v7.
This year our Gift Day is on Sunday 26th September 2021. For more information click on the link to view our Gift Day 2021 leaflet.
As Gift Day is almost here, please pray for all the charities that we support and be as generous as you can. Some of these organizations both here and overseas are small and a gift from Sunnyside makes a huge contribution to their finances as well as encouraging those who work tirelessly for them. Each charity has been specially chosen supporting those in great need, physically, psychologically and spiritually. Let us show them the love of God through our gifts and however small it maybe it is truly valued and used.
DENS. It has been a difficult year for this Hemel Hempstead based charity, as so many people are relying on them for support. DENS was created by Christians for the disadvantaged in the local community. This year 429 people have received daytime support or accommodation. There were 68 rough sleepers being helped and 157 made progress towards independent living. Food parcels were distributed to 5,747 people or families. Many still need help, support having been badly affected by the pandemic.
Playskill is a local charity that is active in Hemel, Watford and Garston, running parent and child groups and support for pre-school children with physical special needs. It has been a challenging year for all families but particularly those with special needs children.
Age UK. The local group provide support for carers and advice about finding and arranging care for the elderly. They also provide advice about benefits, power of attorney, making a will and helping with advice when someone dies.
The Open Door is a safe community space and café on the High Street in Berkhamsted, where people can meet and socialize. There are many activities offered that enhance mental and physical wellbeing. Activities include art classes for children and adults, arts and crafts and exhibitions and are all run by volunteers as part of the Way Inn Christian Trust, which runs our local Post Office.
Heidi Longworth. Many of us remember Heidi as our music leader before she went to Romania. She has now completed 1 year of her MA at All Nations College on “cross culture leadership”, living back home in Crewe and employed as an Outreach Worker at The New Life Church there. She has run an Alpha course that has brought new people into church and started a toddler group. Heidi has recently returned to visit Romania where she still has an apartment and updated her residency papers. She is completely open to what God is calling her to in the future, whether it is here or Romania or somewhere else.
Bulawayo Shelter, Zimbabwe was started in 1990 by Inez Calderwood inspired by James 2 v14 “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?” The shelter was encouraged by the Bishop of Matabeleland and supported by many local churches. It provides food, much of it grown on site, and shelter to the destitute locally, in a country that had been able in the past to produce food for everyone. Like many small charities, money from our Gift Day goes a long way to help local people purchase much needed supplies.
MAF. Mission Aviation Fellowship. We support Sam and Abby Baguma and their 2 girls who are in Kampala, Uganda, where Sam is Regional Finance Manager for the East Africa Region. MAF is a Christian organisation that provides aviation and communications to over 1000 Christian and humanitarian agencies, isolated missionaries and indigenous people in the world’s most remote places. Covid has been a huge challenge since the two lockdowns and most schools In Uganda have been closed since March 2020 and there are no online classes. The governments in East Africa have recognised the vital role MAF has played taking supplies and medical staff to otherwise inaccessible places.
SIM. Service in Mission. Rob Eldred works as People Care Coordinator for SIM, a role which includes health care and family advisor. He, Gen (nee Cartwright) and their three boys live in Yalding, Kent. The team provides crisis care and support for all mission workers overseas helping them in difficult situations. Rob and the team also help prepare others through changing times, retirement and return to the UK from overseas. In spite of all the problems of the last year, there has been a significant increase of applications to work in the full-time mission field.
Frontiers UK. James Price, formerly part of Sunnyside’s youth group, and his family returned to the UK in 2020, to work for Frontiers and are now living in Leeds. They had spent the previous 5 years in Penang, Malaysia, ministering to Muslim Rohingya families, forced from their homes in Myanmar by the military there. He is the coordinator for South East Asia and his role includes helping identify and promote opportunities for ministry amongst the least reached Muslim people in the region. He and his wife, Joanna are also active with the Rohingya community locally, in nearby Bradford, where they have started English as a second language classes for the women.
Please do pray about the gift that you could give, as we work with these charities and be assured the money will all be wisely used for the benefit of those in need. This past year has been so difficult as many fundraising activities have been cancelled due to the pandemic but the need everywhere is so great. Many of the organizations are looking for volunteers to help them with essential services. Please do be generous, help us to help others improve lives, tackle poverty and injustice and share God’s love. Our gifts will really make a difference.